ribollitaSoup is a perfect meal for those short winter days. This ribolita – a hearty twice-cooked Tuscan bread soup – is a great soup to make on Sunday and have delicious leftovers for later in the week.

Serves 6-8

Beans:

  • 1 lb. dried cannellini beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4-5 fresh sage leaves
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Soup:

  • about ½ cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 links each Rooster Brother sweet and hot Italian sausages
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, thickly sliced
  • 2 red or yellow potatoes, peeled & thickly sliced
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard, trimmed & coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed of stalks & coarsely chopped
  • ½ small savoy cabbage, cored & coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped Italian plum tomatoes
  • 3 thick slices rustic white bread
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook the beans: Sort, rinse and soak beans in a large casserole, preferably earthenware, 4 hours or more, covered with cold water.  Drain, add 12 c. cold water, 2 TBSP oil, garlic, sage, & peppercorns. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 1 hour. Season with salt to taste; simmer gently for about 1-2 more hours, until soft. Set aside to cool in the cooking liquid.
  2. Set aside one cup of the beans.  Puree the rest of the beans with 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Set aside along with the rest of the cooking liquid in a separate container.
  3. Remove sausage from casings and sauté in 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large casserole, preferably earthenware.  Remove the sausages and add ¼ c. of the oil.  Add onions & cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Add and stir together the carrots, celery, potatoes, Swiss chard, kale and cabbage. Add the tomatoes, cover and cook until the greens wilt, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add pureed beans and the rest of the bean-cooking liquid.  Simmer, covered, about one hour until the vegetables are soft. Add bread and the reserved beans, return to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes, until the bread has softened. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil  and serve.

Refrigerate any leftover soup. To serve the next day, heat in the casserole in a preheated 325° oven, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. For the last half hour, don’t stir but let brown slightly.  Drizzle with some more olive oil and serve.

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